- Highlighting achievements in research, teaching, and education, four geosciences professors recently were presented with prestigious awards from three international science societies and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Fred Hilterman, Margaret Sheriff Professor of Geophysics, has received the Maurice Ewing Medal from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Janok Bhattacharya, Robert Sheriff Professor of Sequence Stratigraphy, has received the Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Aibing Li, assistant professor of geophysics, has received an NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award in the amount of $450,000 for five years. John F. Dewey, newest research faculty as of January 1, 2007, has received the Structure and Tectonics Career Contribution Award from the Geological Society of America.
- Mike McKinney, MD, a graduate of the University of Houston College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (BS ’73) has been named the next chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, the system's regents announced in early November. McKinney is a former chief of staff to Governor Rick Perry, who appointed him to his former position as the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's senior executive vice president and chief operating officer. McKinney holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston and a medical degree from the UT Medical Branch at Galveston.
- Xiaolian Gao, UH biology and biochemistry professor and adjunct professor in chemistry and biomedical engineering, has been named the recipient of the American Chemical Society Greater Houston Section Award 2006. Established in 1969 by the Section Executive Board, the award is given in recognition of meritorious contributions to the welfare and distinction of the section, as demonstrated by contributions to education, research, and section or community service. Gao is an expert in nucleic acid chemistry, biomolecular nuclear magnetic resonance technology, structural biological chemistry, and combinatorial chemistry.
- Future geoscientists at the University of Houston are getting their hands on new software that will expand their research capabilities and career horizons in the petroleum industry. Through its University Gift Program, Seismic Micro-Technology Inc. (SMT) has donated its KINGDOM Suite software to the Center for Applied Geosciences and Energy in UH’s geosciences department for use in classes, as well as for student and faculty research. SMT, a leader in PC-based exploration and reservoir management software, estimates the value of the three-year grant, including all maintenance and support updates, to be more than $1.4 million.
- Houston has now become a key stop on the information superhighway thanks to a partnership between the University of Houston and fiber optic provider AboveNet Communications Inc. The two organizations worked together to establish the Research & Education Network of Houston (RENoH), a metropolitan fiber optic network that allows massive amounts of data to be transferred among UH, Rice University, the Texas Medical Center, and other research and educational institutions. Utilizing a $3.5 million dark fiber optical network provided by AboveNet to the UH Texas Learning and Computation Center, the 22 route miles of fiber that make up RENoH in the Houston Metropolitan area have now been activated for day-to-day use with the ability to rapidly transfer from one trillion bytes (or terabytes) to one quadrillion bytes (or petabytes) of data.